21 September 2021
Demand for tech professionals in the UK increased by 10% over the first six months of 2021, the first time the tech job market has grown since the pandemic, according to the latest UK Tech Talent Tracker from professional services firm Accenture.
The tracker, which analysed LinkedIn’s Professional Network data, recorded over 93,000 tech jobs openings in July 2021, up from 85,000 in January. However, tech job listings are still well below pre-pandemic levels and are 76% lower than 2019.
Despite the decline, demand for skills in emerging technologies is driving growth in the overall technology job market. For example, open roles in quantum computing saw triple-digit growth (at 157%) and those in blockchain soared by 72%. As organisations focus on governance and respond to data privacy regulations, jobs in digital ethics and responsibility also increased by 27%.
“While the UK economy continues to bear the brunt of the pandemic, these figures are a ray of hope as technology helps to fuel the recovery,” Shaheen Sayed, Technology lead for Accenture in the UK & Ireland, said. “Investment in new software and machinery, particularly with the UK’s roadmap in electric vehicle production, as well as more hybrid working, will likely kickstart greater demand for more technology skills. As businesses fast track their transformations and industries become permanently digitised, we expect to see the war for tech talent to grow even more intense.”
Meanwhile, Scotland’s tech sector saw job listings increase by 25% over the last six months, compared to a 10% rise in the rest of the UK. Edinburgh saw the biggest growth of all UK cities, with open roles growing by more than half (51%), followed by Bristol (48%) and Glasgow (at 33%).
Open tech roles increased in Manchester (18%) and Leeds (15%), but declining demand in key hubs such as Liverpool (-20%) and Newcastle (-5%) offset growth in the North of England. London continued its dominance as the UK’s main tech jobs hub. The city accounts for nearly half of all technology jobs advertised in the UK, with up to 44,000 open roles.
There are also signs that technology professionals have significantly expanded their skillsets in response to the pandemic, with the depth and breadth of technology skills increasing by nearly half (47%) on LinkedIn since July 2019. The most advertised technology skills are now in data analytics and cloud computing. Cloud computing skills are most in-demand overall and account for 40% of all tech jobs advertised.
“The surge in tech professionals with vital skills will help drive the economic recovery,” Emma Kendrew, Accenture’s Technology Infrastructure & Engineering lead in the UK, said. “The pandemic has quickly ushered in a digital economy, one that will require a new generation of technologists to move forward. Organisations will likely hire or upskill software engineers as they invest in core technology to reinvent how they operate and deliver new experiences around new platforms.”
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